You Complete Me

I don’t consider myself a writer. I’m a guy that enjoys talking about baseball and sharing my opinions with a group of educated baseball fans. During the baseball season, I read every article I can get my hands on, and I follow a bunch of baseball writers on Twitter. Of all the writers I follow, there are a handful that are a must-read every day. Pete Abraham & Nick Cafardo with the Boston Globe, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, and Jayson Stark and Tim Kurkjian with ESPN. But my favorite of all is Buster Olney.

Buster Olney is everywhere… Baseball Tonight, Twitter, Podcasts, SportsCenter, and ESPN’s baseball telecasts. He also writes a daily article on ESPN.com in which he links all the baseball news for all the MLB teams. It’s always a good read. He really is the hardest working guy in baseball.

I had planned on going to the Rays practice today with my buddy Trent (RedRays) and a couple of friends from work. While making our plans, I noticed on Twitter that ESPN and Buster Olney were going to be in Port Charlotte. I relayed this to Trent, who replied, “We gotta get a pic with him for thefoulline.com!” This became our mission.

We arrived at the stadium at 9:30 to a capacity crowd of twenty other fans. The gates opened and we made our way to the closest field to watch the Rays stretch, run 20-yard dashes, and play catch. We were able to score a prime fence-line position in front of the immortal Shelley Duncan (who promptly shouted “Nobody likes you!” to an annoyingly obnoxious fan that has some sort of personal vendetta against Jose Molina) and the enigmatic Yunel Escobar, who for some odd reason got along great with the loud obnoxious jackass. He even tossed the loudmouth a ball. That sounds about right.

We worked our way around the park checking out the different fields. No sign of Buster.

We watched Matt Moore throw batting practice. I know it’s early, but he was all over the place. I only saw him throw a handful of strikes the entire session. We witnessed James Loney making a SportsCenter top-10 catch during fielding drills, and a bewildered Jeff Niemann having trouble keeping the ball down in PFP.

Practice was winding down, and still no Buster. I was receiving texts from thefoulline.com headquarters inquiring on the status of the Buster meet & greet. I had nothing to report.

But as the clock struck 11 am, who do I see walking down the center sidewalk, notepad in hand? It’s Buster Olney!

I walked up to him and told him I was a big fan and enjoyed his writing. He seemed taken aback by this and maybe a little embarrassed. Maybe he doesn’t have many lunatic blog writers bum-rush him at spring training practices? I asked for a quick picture with him. Redrays was Johnny-on-the-spot and snapped a keeper. I thanked Buster for his time and said it was nice to meet him. He replied, “Any idea which field Wil Myers is on?” I just happened to know exactly where he was. “Sure, I’ll show you.” As we walked to the field, we had a quick Q&A:

Buster: so are you a Rays fan?
Me: Nope… I like the Red Sox. This park is just so convenient to watch practice.
Buster: How do you think they’re going to do this year?
Me: They have to be better than last season, right?
Buster: It’s hard to say… They all really hated each other last year. The guys they brought in may make a difference.
Me: They were hard to watch. Hopefully their mojo is better at least.
Buster: Well, gotta go… Good luck with your Sox this year!
Me: You complete me!
Ok, that last part didn’t happen, but this encounter with Buster Olney confirmed my thoughts about him. He’s engaging, friendly, and professional. It was worth the trip to Charlotte County Stadium.

Rays-centric Quick Hits:

  • How does Dave Martinez not have a managing job? When he was asked this today by a fan, he replied, “I want to win one in Tampa before going anywhere else.” He’s a class act.
  • Luke Scott is crazy. He hung the boar’s head that he killed with a spear in the Rays clubhouse. He talks to everyone – players, coaches, fans, security guards. Is he the new Jonny Gomes in Tampa?
  • I watched Chris Archer throw some serious cheese. He has an easy, effortless delivery that pops the catcher’s mitt on every throw.
  • Speaking of impressive performances… Juan Sandoval had quite a crowd around him during his pitching session. He looked good, throwing strike after strike. What made this even more impressive? He’s blind in his right eye.
  • I saw Super-GM Andrew Friedman walk into a port-a-potty while chatting on his cellphone, then walk out while still talking. I’m guessing he didn’t wash his hands.
  • Watched super prospect Wil Myers take BP today. He didn’t rake like I had hoped, but RedRays and I both noticed he doesn’t wear batting gloves. This led to RedRays asking, “Do you think he pees on his hands like Moises Alou?”
  • It blows my mind that the Rays don’t have more fans. They have a quality organization, great spring training facility, and legitimate superstars in Price and Longoria, and they compete every year. They deserve better.

We finished the day at The October Boys’s restaurant, Bocca Lupo in Port Charlotte. It’s the best pizza around. It was a perfect ending to a fun day. Check it out when you’re down here for spring training!

34 Responses to “You Complete Me”

  1. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    - Joe Maddon has really put some high expectations on Yunel Escobar this season, throwing out buzz words such as “Gold Glove” and “All Star”. Personally i’ll take a .260 average and 15 home runs and be tickled pink.

    - Its cool that you got to meet Buster Olney. He really does seem like a nice guy, and he really knows his stuff. He did an amazing piece on David Price last year.

    - Buster Olney took one look at you, and based on appearence alone, assumed you were a Rays fan. Buster Olney thinks you have the “Ray look”. You’ll have to live with that knowledge for the rest of your life.

    - Im surprised in the 30 second or so Q&A with him, that you didnt throw in at least one fantasy question. I certainly would have asked him about an under the radar “sleeper” or what not.

    - Jim Hickey is the same way, just goes to show how loyal Maddon’s staff is to him.

    - I absolutely love Chris Archer and really want to see him in the rotation, sooner rather then later. Fausto Carmona sucks and my patience with Jeff Niemann has run out. Time for some new blood.

    - Sandoval has been the talk of camp so far.

    - I also noticed that Wil Myers didnt wear batting gloves in all the pictures of him I had seen. I wasnt sure if it was just for practices or if he actually played games like that. Wouldnt catch me hitting a 95 MPH heater without gloves.

    - Right on point about the fans. I thought it would get better by now, but it hasnt. In fact it seems to be getting worse. Can a new stadium help? It almost has too. By giving Longoria that huge extension, the owners have shown a willingness to spend money and a desire to win. Its time for the fans to do the same.

    - Great post Dave, as usual.

    - No posts on thefoulline for 10 months, then 4 posts in less then a week. I think its safe to say thefoulline.com is back and better then ever. Keep it coming!

  2. Dave Says:

    Thanks as always for your well thought out comments Dan. They’re always appreciated. Do you think if I was given some fantasy gold by Buster Olney, I’d share it to you hungry fantasy jackals? I need all the advantage over you guys that I can get! Buster did mention that I look really smart, he could tell that I was a Red Sox fan! Lol

  3. allan Says:

    Dave, you should have asked bust to visit thefoulline.com. Maybe he would have wrote a little something in a comment.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I can’t believe Buster got to meet the foulline crew!!!!

  5. Dave Says:

    It was kind of a big deal for him, I’m sure.

  6. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Is it because of the WBC, or is it just me, but does it seem like spring training games are starting way earlier this year?

  7. Dave Says:

    It’s because of the WBC. I like it, I’m ready for some baseball!

  8. allan Says:

    Go braves!

  9. BDog Says:

    So you got to meet Buster Olney? Nice! I sure wish I could go to a spring game in 70 degree weather… Its 28 degrees in Denver today, and that’s a bit warmer then usual.

  10. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Atlanta Braves LOSE Spring Opener today, 2-1 to the Tigers

    The Upton Brothers combined to go 0-4 with 2 strikeouts

    Tim Hudson threw 2 scorless innings

    Craig Kimbrel followed with a scoreless inning, including a groundout of Miguel Cabrera

    Braves LOSE. Overrated??

    lol

  11. allan Says:

    will the rays even score a run all spring?

  12. Dave Says:

    Well Allan… The Rays scored a run. Stupid John Lackey

  13. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    That awkward moment when the Rays split squad is beating the Red Sox whole squad.

  14. Dave Says:

    John Lackey was pitching. You can’t count that as a full squad.

  15. BDog Says:

    Just had my leagues draft last night, and I want to know what you guys think of my team. I think I did fairly well but a few more opinions is always nice.

    C) Wilin Rosario
    1B) Joey Votto
    2B) Brandon Phillips
    3B) Adrian Beltre
    SS) Jose Reyes
    OF) Carlos Gonzalez
    OF) Jacoby Ellsbury
    OF) Jason Heyward
    U) Hanley Ramirez
    RES) Mark Trumbo
    RES) Brett Lawrie

    SP) Justin Verlander
    SP) Matt Moore
    SP) Brandon Morrow
    SP) Jeff Samardjia
    SP) Jon Lester
    SP) Tommy Hanson
    SP) Anibal Sanchez
    SP) Brett Anderson
    RP) Chris Perez
    RP) Addison Reed

    What do you guys think? I was going to flip Jose Reyes for an elite pitcher, and slide Hanley in at SS. I love the flexibility of Mark Trumbo in my Utility spot.

    Championship winning team? Or staying home for the playoffs?

  16. allan Says:

    I’d keep Reyes and flip Hanley for a pitcher. Hanley has too many mental issues for me. If he struggles or isn’t happy he quits.

  17. Dave Says:

    Bdog… Your team is ridiculous! Nice draft. You have a lot of flexibility with this team. I agree with Allan, I’d rather keep Reyes and try and flip Hanley or beltre for an elite arm. But, you have a solid pitching staff too. You don’t necessarily need to improve it. With that being said, I think you have a championship team. Nice draft!

  18. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    BDog asked me to join his league to give it a Champions credibilty… I told him I could spare some extra time that doesnt go to my real league and join as a favor to him.

    Yea BDog had a good draft… But you should see MINE.

  19. Dave Says:

    Let’s see your team Dan… But, I’m betting ill like Bdog’s better

  20. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Sorry Dave, in this draft, I got all the sleepers and breakouts I wanted. My team stays with me. No need to give you all more information then you require.

  21. Dave Says:

    Can’t blame a guy for trying…. Just please tell me you took Geady Sizemore, Tim Lincecum & Tulo.. Lol

  22. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Well I WILL say that i came dangerously close to drafting 1 of those 3.

  23. BDog Says:

    Believe me, I wanna crush Dan as much as the rest of you do… But his draft was better then mine. In fact he had the best draft in the league. The guys really knows his stuff.

    Now excuse me while I stick a bar of soap in my mouth to get rid of that unpleasant sentence.

  24. Dave Says:

    I’m starting to think BDog and Dan are the same person.. No one can be that complimentary about Dan!!

  25. allan Says:

    Could Dan be so bored, that he created his cooler self, and name him bdog? Have the baseball/football offseasons already destroyed Dan mentally?….impossible, he was screwed from the starts. Lol

  26. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    BDog must be the only person here who appriciates my vast and all powerful baseball knowledge…

    Or he could be trying to lower my guard, and get me accept some bogus trade offer…

    It can only be one or the other.

  27. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Rays defeat Red Sox 6-3

    Dan “Two Tampa Bay wins over Boston in a 3 day span? Yep baseball is officially back” Mckewen

  28. Dave Says:

    You know Dan is officially off the reservation when he’s keeping track of Spring Training records.
    I’m heading to ft Myers tomorrow with Dylan for sox vs. cardinals. Seats on top of the Monster, should be a horrible time.

  29. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Horrible time huh? They must be bringing Lackey back on three days rest?

  30. Dave Says:

    That was sarcasm. Something memorable happens everytime I go to a game with Dylan.

  31. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Mike and I have decided tuesday March 12th against the Yankees is the day we will head down there to Port Charlotte. Can you take that day off Allan? How about you Dave meet us all out there?

  32. Dave Says:

    I might be able to make that day… Rays vs Yankees?? Couldn’t you find any likeable teams to watch?

  33. 2012 thefoulline.com fantasy baseball champion Says:

    Believe it or not, No we couldnt. There are only 2 games, all spring, that fall on Mike’s days off from the force, AND the Rays are at home. Tuesday the 12th against the Yankees, Thursday the 21st against the Twins.

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